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Chinese Made Tesla Model 3: Close to Production?

Tesla is wasting no time in the construction of their Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai– and plans on manufacturing Tesla Model 3 electric vehicles there by the end of the year.

Despite the fact that the entirety of the Gigafactory 3 may not be complete for some months (Elon Musk claims that it will be done by the end of 2019), it seems like Tesla intends to start the installation of production equipment there while other areas of the 864,885 m² site are still under construction.

This may come off as daring and even a little risky, but if they manage to pull it off, Tesla just might be able to make their ambitious goal of manufacturing Model 3 cars there by the end of 2019.

Tesla Gigafactory 3 Being Constructed Quickly

On January 7th of this year, Tesla officially began broke ground for construction in Lingang, China.  As of March 20th, the foundation has been completed and the construction of the steel structure of the plant has begun.  Tesla predicts that the installation of vehicle production equipment could start as early as May, when the first portion of the factory construction is expected to be completed.

If that sounds fast to you, then you’re right.  Some local amateur news sources even report the factory to be under construction 24/7, which could account for such a rapid pace. 

Skeptics initially mocked Elon Musk’s predictions that the factory would be up and running by the summer, but it looks like Musk just might be having the last laugh. 

The Importance of China to Tesla

It’s no secret that Tesla is receiving welcome support from the Chinese government.  China already aggressively pushes for the adoption of electric vehicles throughout the country.  There’s also an expectation that Tesla’s Chinese production will force competition among domestic carmakers, in turn making them speed up and improve their development of their own electric vehicles.

There’s also the fact that the Tesla Gigafactory 3 will be the first wholly foreign-owned in the country, as previously all auto makers had to share ownership with a Chinese-owned car company.  Along with shared ownership, foreign partners also had to share patents and company secrets, which likely gave many considering companies pause. 

Finally, owning a factory in China will help Tesla bring their prices down to a more competitive level, since the electric cars will not have to be imported.  Donald Trump’s current tariff war with China means that imported U.S. cars bear a 40% increase in price, which has a huge impact on potential Tesla sales in the country.  A Chinese-made Tesla Model 3 could drastically increase profits.

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